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Old July 3, 2010, 11:26 PM   #1
HuntAndFish
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How do you remove S&W 457 magazine release?

I'm familiar with the S&W mag release that have a separate spring and plunger next to it, but how do you remove those that don't have that? For instance, this one on a S&W 457:



The parts schematic shows a spring and plunger in there but the center doesn't appear to depress. Anyone know how?
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Last edited by HuntAndFish; July 5, 2010 at 07:23 PM.
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Old July 9, 2010, 02:36 PM   #2
fastbolt
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The mag catch assembly used on the Value/CS series doesn't use a threaded nut like the standard style mag catch assemblies. The plastic mag catch nut snaps on & off, being retained on the shaft of the mag catch body by an inner ring on the nut which snaps over the head of the body's shaft. They plastic nut is a "Use Once & Replace" part, though. We were told it's not recommended to remove the plastic mag catch nut except for repair purpose.

The nice thing about them is that there's no adjustment required during installation like there is with the standard mag catch assembly, and because of this installation is simpler. (Not only does the mag catch not need to be adjusted, but there's no plunger which can fly away and become lost. )

Here's a couple pictures of the brief instructions given to armorers regarding this assembly, as well as a somewhat grainy picture of the assembly.



Here's an image of the Value Line mag catch nut & mag catch body and the standard mag catch nut and mag catch body. You can see how the Value Line mag catch body has a 'head' over which a raised ring inside the plastic nut's hole is slipped and snapped over it. You can't see the inner ring inside the nut due to the light and my old camera. FWIW, on the back side of the standard metal mag catch nut you can see the recessed slot into which the plunger head fits when adjusting the mag catch body (turning it 180 degrees at a time) for depth and reach.


Interestingly enough, I've not yet had to replace a plastic nut or metal mag catch body on a Value Line or Chief's Special model, but I've had to replace a few standard mag catch assemblies on both new and old pistols.

I've also had some number of the small plunger springs become badly rusted, and the spring holes become filled with grit & debris, causing difficulty in mag catch operation in some guns with the standard assembly. Apparently the narrow & deep spring hole for the standard plunger spring doesn't allow for moisture/liquid to easily run out, letting it become trapped, and probably doesn't allow for much air circulation, either. While the original mag catch assembly allowed for adjustment to optimally position the mag catch body in the frame so it could catch & hold magazines, it came with it's own disadvantages, too.

Of course, in the newer TSW guns the standard mag catches could be reversed or changed for left-handed users, depending on the frame. The same part could be removed and installed from the other side in the newest 9/.40 double column mag TSW frames (because of machining changes in how the frames were made), but not in the single column .45 frames. S&W finally made a left-handed mag catch assembly which could be ordered and installed for left-handed shooters of newer .45's.

In my first armorer class it was recommended that we use a file to notch a regular screw driver blade tip and create a sort of 'spanner wrench' which would make it easier to install and adjust the threaded mag catch nuts. That became handy over the years.
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Old July 9, 2010, 09:38 PM   #3
HuntAndFish
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Thanks fastbolt.

My issue is the plastic catch is wearing on the steel magazine body and needed replacement. The problem wasn't really the plastic catch so much as one of my mags had a sharp edge that cut into it. All better now though, thanks again.
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Old July 10, 2010, 03:00 PM   #4
fastbolt
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Take a magnet to the mag catch body from the Value Line part and I think you'll find it's steel. Well, the current parts are steel, anyway. Just the mag catch nut/button is plastic. I don't know of any changes, and I didn't have any need to order any mag catches when the early models were being produced, and can't speak with any certainty about the older VL/CS assemblies.

I've encountered the occasional wear condition on the standard mag catch assembly bodies. I recently had one that just wasn't within normal spec on a new production 4513TSW, as a matter of fact. It wouldn't work quite right in either the gun in which it had originally been installed, or another 4513TSW I grabbed out of inventory to try it in. It can just happen upon occasion.
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Old July 18, 2010, 03:45 PM   #5
HuntAndFish
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Yes, you are right. It does appear to be steel but it still got boogered up by the magazine. Replacement is made of the same stuff.

I probably could have just filed on it as well as the magazine. No problem, already got a replacement. Thanks for your information.
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Old July 18, 2010, 04:12 PM   #6
fastbolt
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De nada.

It doesn't happen all that often, I'd think, just thinking about my experience with more than a thousand S&W's over the course of many years, but sometimes a mag catch body (the shelf that engages the mag) can become worn, damaged or just not be within the right end of the normal tolerance/spec range to work well in one particular frame. I've even had that happen with brand new TSW's.

While I wouldn't be adverse to removing a burr, as long as normal function could be restored, sometimes it's just easier to replace the part with a new one and not fool with it.

Then again, I had the opportunity to come across a new 4566TSW mag which had the cutout in the body located significantly away from where it was supposed to be in order to retain the mag. Go figure.
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